Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E Pearson
My Rating: 4 Stars
This book was such a great start to a fantasy series. With great characters, plot twists galore and a love triangle that doesn’t make you cringe, I really enjoyed this audiobook and can’t wait to add the paperback to my shelves.
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.
The Kiss of Deception is the first audiobook in Mary E. Pearson’s Remnant Chronicles.
I experienced this book through audio from my subscription with Audible and let me tell you – I loved it! Knowing very little about this series (despite a few spoiled plot points) I am absolutely loving listening to this. I’ve never reviewed an audiobook before and so I am going to review it how I would a book but then add an extra part about the audio retelling.
This story follows Lia, a princess escaping an arranged marriage and a life she doesn’t want. She finds refuge in a village called Terraven, shedding her old life and focusing on a life that brings her happiness, not pain and suffocation. While there she meets Rafe and Kaden, two men who intrigue and interest her, especially as they show a lot of interest in her for some reasons. Plot twist: one is the prince and one is the assassin. The only thing is the reader doesn’t know which one is which.
When Lia first leaves Morrighan, the book is strong and intense. Running away from everything she knows and once loved, she is angry and confused and is very much every part a spoiled princess. She’s entitled and princess like but she very quickly makes the decision that she is going to have a normal life and I loved seeing her character growth. She is such a strong character and I loved seeing her connect with Birdie, Gwyneth and Pauline as well as hold her own with soldiers and with Rafe and Kaden.
The middle part of the book loses you a lot. I actually stopped listening to the audiobook for about 3 months because it just was so slow and nothing was happening. A lot of little things happened but nothing huge. It was still good, just long. I do think that it was important to have all those little things happen, you felt so removed from what was happening outside of Terraven that when what I like to call part 3 happened you were ready for the plot to move.
Part 3 is fantastic. The final third of the book is fast paced, intriguing and comes with a huge plot twist that I did not see coming. I found myself listening to it more and more just because I wanted to know what happened. The changes and reveals about Kaden, Rafe and Lia all happened so fast and I absolutely loved it. I want to yell in on the rooftops about the twist but no spoilers! The book truly steps up to an entirely new level and Lia really begins to come into her own at this point, learning more about her gift and what she can do, as well as what she wants to do. The parts
The writing in this book is really in depth. Its descriptive, but not too much; apart from the middle bit, it is a good pace and the characters are really multi-faceted. They’re not perfect, they’re not nice all the time and they are unpredictable too. There are multiple perspectives but they all ready really well and very distinctly. The fantasy world is a bit confusing between the different kingdoms with different languages but you pick it up as you get into the story and learn more about the plot and histories.The world building is very deep and thought out which I love to see because then it feels real. Pearson does a fantastic job at building the history of the kingdoms and revealing them in time which shows great writing ability. It is great to see how all the plot points are revealed, as they weave the story together.
As an audiobook, this book is wonderful. The narration is shared between five people: Emily Rankin, Ann Marie Lee , Ryan Gesell, Kirby Heyborne, and Kim Mai Guest. They do such a wonderful job of showing emotion and each has distinct voices for the characters. I loved slipping between the various perspectives as the narrators provided a lot of variety in their speech which was great. They provided accents, personalities, abruptness, tension – you want it, you got it. I enjoyed this so much that I renewed my subscription to Audible so I could get book 2. I will definitely be looking to see what other books these narrators do.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. While it dragged a bit in the middle, it was definitely redeemed in the final part and made me want to get the next book almost immediately. I can’t say too much more without spoiling things so go away, read it and then come back so I can talk about it with you.
Recommended for: Fantasy lovers. This book gives me so many Throne of Glass, Graceling and Lumatere Chronicles vibes. If you have liked any of those books, then definitely check this one out!
Quotes (Spoiler Free):
“It can take years to mold a dream. It takes only a fraction of a second for it to be shattered.”
“Maybe there was no one way to define it. Maybe there were as many shades of love as the blues of the sky.”
“Who was this girl who thumbed her nose at two kingdoms and did as she pleased?”
“Once upon a time, there was a man as great as the gods…
But even the great can tremble with fear.
Even the great can fall.”
Have you read this series? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!
xx Maddy xx